Information Resources Policy


The information resources policy replaces the selection policy. It is a policy on the purchase and withdrawal of resources and on access to resources through partnerships and document delivery services.

1.     Demand-led policy
2.     Format of materials
3.     Provision for different user needs
4.     Information searching tools
5.     Collection management
6.     Effective circulation of materials
7.     Request and document delivery
8.     Cooperation with other libraries

Appendix I - Definitions

1. Demand-led policy
The Red Deer College Library Information Common mission is to "facilitate the access and delivery of information, strengthen learning and support research needs for RDC and the community."
This requires the Library Information Common (LIC) to:
·         Reflect the priorities of the college, as expressed in the Academic Plan and other policy statements, and priorities of the larger community as ascertained by ongoing consultation with partners and users
·         Target resources where the use is greatest (see Appendices)
·         Provide fast document delivery systems to complement the LIC’s own resources
·         Operate efficient systems to ensure maximum availability and accessibility of resources
·         Encourage and support partnerships with local and provincial bodies, such as TAL, NEOS and the Provincial Public Resource-Sharing Network
·         Facilitate suggestions, recommendations and complaints from users
This requires individual academic staff and those representing Program Areas to:
·         Communicate their own and students’ information needs
·         Accept responsibility for directing student learning in ways which make effective use of available and obtainable resources
This requires partners to:
·         Communicate their own and user information needs
·         Work with the Collections Librarian to select appropriate resources
The following sections show how these principles will be applied in the LIC and how, in cases of conflicting demands and resource limitations, decisions will increasingly be made on the basis of use of materials. However some consideration will be given to purchase material based on expectations and needs of partners.
2. Format of Materials
The LIC obtains and/or provides access to information in the most suitable format based on the guidelines described below. Where feasible, arrangements are also made for use of these materials outside the LIC, either by loan or by network access. Throughout this document the term materials will apply to any information format.
2.1 Print Information
The LIC will deliver information in print format when this is the most suitable format.
2.2 Electronic Information
The LIC will increasingly deliver information in electronic format, where it:
·         Provides faster access
·         Provides more sophisticated searching tools
·         Provides multi-user access
·         Provides remote access from outside the college
2.3 Electronic full text vs indexing services and hard copy full text
The LIC aims to purchase and/or subscribe to full text holdings of newspapers, journals, books, reference sources in electronic formation where at least one of the following applies and resources allow:
·         There is demand for multi-user and/or remote access
·         The cost benefit equation justifies the electronic purchase
·         The nature of the use of data warrants it
·         The ability to use the source in electronic format is a skill needed by users
·         There are considerable space savings to be made from electronic provision of information
·         The information is more up to date than in other formats
2.4 Multimedia
It is anticipated that information will be produced increasingly in multimedia format. The LIC will purchase multimedia resources in accordance with other aspects of the information resources policy.
3. Provision for different user needs
3.1 Course provision
The LIC will purchase and/or obtain through document delivery services materials to meet the breadth and depth of information searching and reference needs of all taught courses. Students are expected to buy essential texts as recommended by instructors. Instructors will inform the LIC of reserve readings and will supply the material where necessary.
3.1.1 Material on course reading lists
The LIC provides copies of required/supplementary readings listed on course outlines according to the following guidelines:
·         Instructors are expected to supply a copy of each course outline and reading list to the LIC
·         Textbooks and and/or course readings which are essential for student purchase will not be acquired
3.1.2 Materials to support courses
The LIC buys materials recommended by librarians, instructors or selected by Program representatives to support courses according to the following guidelines for print information:
·         1 copy per 50 students of materials relevant to a specific course
·         1 copy of items bought for subject building/gap filling
·         1 copy of items bought to encourage study of wide range of materials relevant to subjects taught
·         1 copy of items bought to assist staff in keeping pace with developments in subjects they teach
3.1.3 Suggestions for purchase
The Library Information Common:
·         encourages suggestions for purchase from faculty, staff and students
3.1.4 Journal literature to support courses
Journals for each subject area covered by the curriculum should be acquired. The LIC will provide a selected number of periodicals of a general nature. The following guidelines will apply:
·         Titles regularly publishing articles which students are recommended to read by instructors, or which contain articles relevant to assignments/coursework/student projects
·         Titles regularly publishing articles read by staff for course development and keeping pace with advances in their subject areas
·         Where possible back issues of print journals will be purchased in 35 mm microfilm format, based on availability of microfilm and the suitability of the journal for viewing in this format
3.2 Community resources
The LIC will purchase and/or obtain through document delivery services materials to meet the breadth and depth of information searching and reference needs of community users as defined by established partnerships.
·         PRL Agreement (See Appendix II)
4. Information searching tools
The LIC will purchase or provide access to publications and services which facilitate subject searching of its own resources and information published throughout the world, to meet the needs of all subject areas taught within the college and through LIC partnerships. Most of these will be in electronic format, will be available through the LIC website dependent on licensing agreements, and will include:
·         Access to resources using the Gate catalogue, TAL online, and other local and provincial library catalogues
·         Fulltext or indexing services with electronic searching facility
·         The LIC periodical holdings data
·         Access to subject specific Internet resources
·         Internet access
5. Collection management
In general, material is acquired and retained which is in regular use or likely to be so for teaching and research. However these are the following exceptions:
·         Material specific to the functioning of the college
·         Material specific to LIC partnerships
5.1 Reference collections
Reference collections will consist of resources referred to for specific information, eg. almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias etc. These resources appear in a variety of formats and are found in a number of areas throughout the LIC. They complement and supplement the LIC’s other resources and enhance access to information.
5.2 Censorship
The LIC recognizes an obligation to present a balance of viewpoints on various subjects or beliefs in order to support academic inquiry and public awareness of these subjects and beliefs. Internet resources available in the LIC will not be restricted with the use of filtering software.
Material of a controversial, social, political, religious or other nature which may give offence to certain readers will be added where:
·         The material supports courses
·         The material is well written and based on human experience, no matter how strong the bias or the language
·         The material is not designed to make money by appealing to a taste for sensationalism or pornography
5.3 Donations
The LIC accepts donations based on the following:
·         The donation is made with no strings attached
·         The LIC reserves the right to add or not add materials as it deems appropriate
·         Materials not added to the collection will be offered for sale
·         Tax receipts will be provided for donations where the material added to the collection is valued greater than $100.00
·         If required, the LIC will arrange to have the material evaluated by a qualified librarian but any expenses incurred must be borne by the donor
·         Donations to the Parkland Regional Library Collection will be considered based on the same principles and evaluation processes as materials purchased for the collection. Parkland Regional Library does not assign monetary value to donated items and does not issue receipts for tax purposes
5.4 Red Deer College Authors
Materials written or produced by the staff of Red Deer College will be acquired primarily through donations. Purchase will be pursued only in accordance with other aspects of the information resources policy.
5.6 Self renewing collections
The LIC seeks to ensure that the collection is vibrant and relevant to user needs. As such ongoing evaluation of the collection occurs to ensure that the collection holds up-to-date and in-demand materials. Evaluation of the collection includes the withdrawal of materials as described below and the addition of materials as defined in section 3.
5.6.1 Criteria for withdrawal
Resources will be considered for withdrawal when:
·         Old editions are superceded by new ones (the LIC will retain only the latest edition and the immediate previous edition unless older editions include information not available through newer versions, ie. anthologies)
·         The item has not been borrowed over the past 10 years
·         The text is out of date or obsolete
·         It covers topics that do not support academic programs or covered by partnership agreements
·         There are duplicate copies of seldom used titles
·         Materials are badly worn or mutilated (dependent on the worth of the item, may be repaired or replaced rather than discarded)
5.6.2 Collection Evaluation Schedule
Withdrawal will occur annually using the following schedule which allows for more frequent evaluation of collections in the sciences:
·         Every two years Q,R,T
·         Every three years A-H, J-N, P
·         Every five years S,U,V,Z
5.6.3 Procedures for Collection Evaluation
·         The Collection Librarian will determine which section of the collection will be evaluated and who will identify the materials for withdrawal and collection seeding
·         Lists of materials to be considered for withdrawal will be created, indicating the title, author, publication date, and reason considered for withdrawal
·         These materials will be reviewed by librarians, faculty and a Materials Committee representing partner interests
·         Materials which should not be removed from the collection will be identified as core resources
·         Remaining materials will be removed from the collection and from the catalogue
5.6.4 Disposal of withdrawn materials
The disposal of withdrawn materials is the responsibility of the Circulation Department.
·         Withdrawn materials may be offered for sale. Proceeds will be used for enhancing library collections
·         Withdrawn items showing Parkland Regional Library ownership will be returned to PRL headquarters for disposal and removal of holdings from the PRL database
6. Effective circulation of materials
The LIC has a number of different loan period to which materials are allocated according to the demand for them:
·         Reference
·         Reserve
·         Three day loan
·         Two week loan
·         3 month loan
·         PRL materials will be circulated according to system defaults in the Dynix automation system
7. Request and document delivery
Request and document delivery are terms used to refer to:
·         Borrowing books from other libraries
·         Obtaining copies of articles from other libraries
7.1 Just in time delivery
Request and document delivery will be facilitated through provincial initiatives such as NEOS resource sharing, TAL resource sharing, PRL resource sharing and other agreements in place.
7.2 Entitlements
Red Deer College staff and students will have an entitlement to request and document delivery services. No charges are passed to users for basic request and document delivery services, although the LIC retains the right to charge for special services. Entitlements will vary for different groups (See Appendices).
8. Cooperation with other libraries
Cooperative activities are sought and supported. Cooperative collection development opportunities and partnerships will be addressed in the appendices to follow.
Appendix I: Definitions
The community includes library users who are part of the Central Alberta community, and those who are associated with RDC through partnerships, e.g. The Alberta Library, NEOS, Parkland Regional Library, Red Deer Public Library
Information Resources
Information resources include all formats of information, and all sources of information available to library users. This includes print and electronic information as well as information available from other libraries
Refers to any information format
Materials Committee
A committee representing RDC and RDC partner interests
Agreements established between RDC and other institutions to promote the sharing of resources, both information and human resources
All customers served by RDC and RDC partners
Appendix II – Parkland Regional Library Partnership
Selection Criteria:
Information resources will be provided to two main client groups as defined by Parkland Regional Library’s service agreements:
·         Public
·         Schools contracted to Parkland Regional Library
Financial resources will be used to purchase reference information resources for school and public libraries. Information resources will be selected on the following criteria:
·         Items difficult to interlibrary loan
·         Online databases – Parkland Regional Library is committed to subscription to the Universal Core of databases for public libraries, as created by TAL. This core gives unlimited remote access to all public patrons served by the regional library
·         Reference materials that are not affordable to small public libraries
·         Current consumer information in the areas of health, medicine, business, electronics, computers, travel
·         Specialty areas not widely collected among library members (e.g. various animal breeds, automotive repair, travel guides, language learning, international biography, etc.)
·         Local histories covering, but not limited to, the geographical area served by Parkland
·         Some basic resources to support the information and recreational needs of Parkland area residents in non-fiction areas (e.g. comparative religion, psychology, history, geography, etc.)
·         Some topographical and town/county maps for the region served
·         School materials will support the grades 1 to 12 curriculum
·         Audiovisual resources are acquired as appropriate/necessary
Parkland Regional Library participates in the Parkland Regional Library Cooperative Collection Development Program and is committed to collecting designated resources as a result of cooperative collection development meetings.
The IDS collection does not collection adult or juvenile fiction, except very occasionally as necessary for curriculum support at lower elementary level.
Periodicals are not collected.
Collection Management
Resources will be purchased based on the following guidelines:
·         Reference resources (eg. directories, atlases, etc.) will be kept current and older editions will be withdrawn unless there is a reason to keep them for archival purposes
·         Resources will be replaced within the following timeframes:
o    Travel, legal, health, computers –every three to four years
o    Repair manuals (older editions retained), consumer electronics, science and technology, social issues – every four to five years
o    History, religion, languages, social sciences, sports, literature, fine arts, architecture, space, zoology – every five to seven years
o    Government publications collection through the selective depository will be collected via the Weekly Checklist and discarded as per government regulations
Community Resources
Purchases will be made in light of changing demand. Public library service demands are currently undergoing transformation due to the influences of system-wide automation as well as the TAL initiatives. We can expect that, given the easy availability of general interest non-fiction materials around the system, libraries will be demanding from the RDC/PRL collection more research-related and subject-specific resources, as well as the traditional reference resources.
There will likely also be an ongoing need for the service to maintain a collection of current medical, legal, business and computer technology information.
It would be necessary to conduct a yearly review and evaluation of collection demand and use at least for 2002 and 2003 to see what the emerging trends are and to incorporate these trends into the long-term collection planning process.
All materials showing PRL ownership shall be available for circulation.
Service Criteria (Entitlements)
Public library reference service has a primary emphasis on giving the requested answer or information and a secondary emphasis on teaching patrons how and where to find information. Parkland is committed to this service model.
Parkland Regional Library subscribes to provincial standards and procedures for the handling of resource sharing. All interlibrary loans, originating from public libraries in-province are free. Photocopying charges, if they apply, are the responsibility of the borrowing patron or his/her local library. Any materials charge from out-of-province libraries is also the responsibility of the patron or local library. Unless prior consent to charges is given, searching for materials will be restricted to in-province sources, or other free sources.
Parkland does not discriminate in offering services to any group on the basis of age, gender, race, color, religion, or any other criterion.
Fines on overdue materials are levied according to system defaults and remain with the library collecting the, including RDC Library Information Common.
The handling of charges for lost items will reside with the PRL headquarters which will do any billing or adjustments to accounts as needed. Should RDC receive payment for patrons for lost PRL books, such monies will be transferred to PRL for credit to the appropriate account.
The Materials Committee will oversee the development and management of the collection and the Committee will have the authority to make changes to the Collection Development Guidelines in keeping with the service mandate of Parkland Regional Library.

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